[Note: see the section after the pictures of Cinque Terre for an update on the search for my Italian Stallion…)
Well, boys and girls, I went, I saw, I took pictures. And it was worth every penny and every hour of insane Italian driving! Cinque Terre is….it’s stunning, that’s what. And though my legs and feet are still screaming for mercy (they were put through the hiking equivalent of a blender on high-speed), my brain and heart are happy, happy, happy.
I’m posting a handful of pics below…to whet your appetite! For a more thorough slideshow of our time in Cinque Terra, click the following link…you don’t want to miss the gorgeousness of God’s handiwork! I’ve added captions to all the pics so you’ll know what you’re looking at.
Or if your connection is slower, go to this: (but the slideshow is so much better, because the pictures have a black background there, which REALLY sets off the colors!)
… I looked and looked and on one particularly embarrassing occasion, I actually stood at the top of a tower and yelled, “Luigi!! Come find me!!!!” at the top of my lungs, tossing my hair around my head like a Baywatch babe in the ocean breeze. Not really. But I did keep my eyes open and scanning as we wandered around Italy’s little Riviera (and Mari Ellen lent her eagle eyes to the task as well)… It took until supper on day #2 to find a adequate Luigi stand-in. He was our waiter that evening. Tall, dark-haired, tan-skinned…and strikingly blue-eyed. Quite gorgeous, really. And quite disinterested in the wind-blown, sun-burned and blister-crippled tourists we were. He was so uninterested that he simply quit waiting on us after a few minutes, which was actually a relief, as I’d been trying to improve my appearance by running my fingers through my hair for a while and had only succeeded in getting them so hopelessly tangled that they’d ended up stuck in the nest of wind-whipped messiness.
Waiter number two (after Luigi quit on us), was Guido. He looked a little bit like this:
Then came…drum roll, please…BRUNO. Bruno was the restaurant’s busboy. He was also pushing 70-years old, balding and just a bit rotund. He kept to himself until we were about to leave, then turned up at my side like a long lost friend with a big smile asking why we were leaving so soon, patting my shoulder, and trying to speak English (he failed). He asked me if I was American and suggested that maybe I came from California (he must have caught my Baywatch routine earlier in the day), then he patted what remained of my hair and told me I had to have Italian ancestry, as my hair is so dark. He clearly hadn’t noticed the 1,245,497 freckles that had erupted all over my face in the 10 hours we’d already spent in the sun that day…no real Italian sports the kind of terminal freckles I suffer from! He gushed and smiled and spoke to us as if we understood him…….and I found myself sending Renee an ESP message that went something like this: “Hey, Renee, I appreciate the prayers, but could you be a tad more SPECIFIC next time??? I’m not asking for a model or anything, but “moderately tall, generally dark and bordering on handsome” would be a definite plus over the “short, squat, bald and ELDERLY” your latest prayer produced!”
I know you’re thinking I’m exaggerating, so I must support my story with a picture. I won’t lie to you and say that it’s of Bruno, but it IS someone who comes close to capturing his poise and allure. I caught him reading a magazine on the beach on our first evening in the Bay of Poets:
Spring break is quickly coming to a close, and I can’t believe how quickly it’s flown. But I’m rearin’ to go. Students, I trust the last few days of break will allow you to fully decompress before you return to BFA for the end-of-year sprint. Can’t wait to see you–I’ve missed you!